Leslie Cannold’s decision to stand for Julian Assange’s Wikileaks Party was always questionable, given her feminist ideals; after all, he’s been accused of raping two women. Moreover, his link with anti-Semites and alleged anti-Semitic pronouncements were an unlikely pairing for a secular Jew like Cannold. See: http://jewsdownunder.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/does-wikileaks-have-a-problem-with-jews-2/
She vigorously defended her decision to stand:
I have chosen to stand for the WikiLeaks party because I want to bring the WikiLeaks disinfectant of transparency and accountability to the Australian Senate.
This decision reflects nothing more or less then my respect for the rule of law and a desire to make Australia safe for democracy again.
Bizarre to claim that supporting a fugitive from justice reflected her respect for the rule of law, also that a party led by the evasive Assange could bring transparency to our political system.
Maybe she should have taken Assange’s personality defects more seriously, as when he accused journalists of being part of a ‘Jewish conspiracy’. Ted Lapkin wrote about Assange’s friendship with anti-Semite and Holocaust-denier Adam Ermash, who serves as WikiLeaks’ official Moscow liaison.
Ermash certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his antipathy towards Jews. And this gives rise to the question of why Assange would want anything to do with him.
On its face, this coalition between a left-wing proponent of transparent government and a pathological anti-Semite might appear to be a strange bedfellows political alliance. But it now appears WikiLeaks founder might harbour some Judeophobic bile of his own.
When queried about his ties to Ermash during an interview with British magazine Private Eye, Assange responded by raising the spectre of a conspiracy to destroy WikiLeaks, then proceeded to recite a laundry list of alleged conspirators’ names, adding that all of them “are Jewish”.
Many were puzzled why a feminist concerned about human rights would hitch her wagon to the narcissistic Assange. Fast forward a few months, and Cannold announced she has quit the WikiLeaks Party, complaining of power struggles and a failure to live up to its democratic ideals:
Cannold said she could not remain as a candidate because to do so would be implicitly making a statement that the WikiLeaks Party was what it claimed to be – “a democratically run party that both believes in transparency and accountability, and operates in this way”.
“Over the course of the vigorous debates that have taken place over preferences there have been consistent challenges to the rights of the National Council, the 11 person democratic governing body of the WikiLeaks Party, to do its job: to make democratic, transparent and accountable decisions”.
The resignation comes days after the WikiLeaks Party came under fire for directing its preferences to the Shooters and Fishers Party and the white nationalist Australia First Party ahead of both major parties and the Greens in the NSW Senate race.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the WikiLeaks Party said its National Council decided the Shooters and Fishers and the Australia First party should have been below Greens, Labor and Liberal but administrative problems were to blame.
And in WA, the WikiLeaks Party preferenced the Nationals in the Senate ahead of one of its biggest supporters, Greens Senator Scott Ludlum…which angered high-profile WikiLeaks supporter…Mary Kostakidis who tweeted it was a ”major error in judgment”.
Given Assange’s support for other anti-Semites, the protestation of ‘administrative problems’ for preferencing the anti-Semitic Australia First Party rings a little hollow.
For those unfamiliar with this party, here’s a little background:
Australia First Party (AFP), founded in 1996 by Graeme Campbell, is a right-wing nationalist movement. Sydney branch president Jim Saleam has stated that “the war on Zionism has just begun” and that peace can only be achieved by dismantling the Zionist monstrosity. He has accused Australian Zionists of hating “with all the venom of their Nazi-like souls”, and labelled them as “essential agents of a foreign state” and “enemies of the idea of Australian independence.” … Saleam described the Australian Jewish News as dripping anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian hate, and also accused the Jews of Israel of not being related to the Hebrews of the Bible, instead falsely describing them as descendants of the Russian Khazars.
Cannold’s split was widely reported in the media:
WikiLeaks Party’s star candidate Leslie Cannold has quit over a dispute over preferences, and more candidates could follow.
Dr Cannold… says she’s disappointed the party’s internal democratic processes have been “white-anted and resisted”.
“It was a difficult decision,” she told AAP on Wednesday, shortly after announcing she was resigning as the party’s Senate candidate for Victoria.
“I just in the end couldn’t do otherwise.”
Asked whether Mr Assange had been helpful in trying to resolve the dispute, Dr Cannold said: “I really feel like I need to stick with what I’ve said in this statement.”
Online Opinion reported:
Leslie Cannold is determined to keep the bastards honest – those within the WikiLeaks Party, at least. She has resigned as Julian Assange’s number two running mate for the Senate, saying that the party’s preference problems were “the final straw”. This indicates there were other deep divisions.
For a new political party with transparency at its core, the fact that mainstream media had a breaking news story about Cannold quitting on 21 August many hours before any such news was released on the WikiLeaks Party’s official website, Facebook page or Twitter account is strange.
Most media carried the story.
But not, officially, the WikiLeaks Party. The same party, no less, whose Senate candidates jointly issued a statement on 10 August about how the Daily Telegraph’s Election coverage undermines Australian Democracy;
“when such blatant political positioning is combined with the pitiful facts of the extreme concentration of ownership in the Australian media, we have to be concerned for the health of Australian democracy.”
That is the type of statement that may come back to haunt a party less than eager to air its dirty washing in transparent view of everyone…
Perhaps those who live by these words should be prepared to stick by them during the election. Is it too much to expect an immediate response from the WikiLeaks Party about Cannold’s resignation? Or from Assange about his second running mate’s sudden exit?
Several hours after her resignation, Cannold told ABC news … that she disputes the party’s claim that ‘administrative errors’ were to blame for the NSW decision to give its first preferences to far-right wing candidates and parties in New South Wales, including the Australia First Party which is headed by a convicted criminal and former neo-Nazi.
Cannold’s decision to quit the WikiLeaks Party came the very day many people received their postal vote…There is Cannold’s name, down as number two for the party’s Senate ticket.
In response to the question “why should someone vote for wikileaks?” Cannold tweeted on 16 August:
“We stand for transparency, accountability & justice & will keep the bastards accountable”.
Five days later, she resigned from the party.
Cannold’s shock resignation leaves many questions unanswered, such as how thoroughly did she research the Wikileaks party before deciding to stand, and will she, in the interests of transparency give a full explanation as to what went on before the “final straw” of the preference debacle?